Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for #MMA Fans

Stuck for a last-minute present for that special someone? Have a friend who can’t get enough of the latest UfC and BellatorMMA  action? Check out these MMA-themed books for thoughtful gifts and stocking stuffers for the fight fan in your life!

And because they’re all from Amazon and available with 2-day shipping, they’ll still arrive in time for Christmas Day.

Chael Sonnen — The Voice of Reason: A V.I.P. Pass to Enlightenment

“Like all men of myth and legend, Sonnen strives for the betterment of the human race. Prometheus brought us fire; Dana White brought us the modern-day gladiator; and Chael P. Sonnen now brings us the step-by-step guide to being a great human being and patriot.”

Urijah Faber — The Laws of the Ring

“Urijah Faber offers an unconventional and enlightening guide to mental dominance and personal success… The Laws of the Ring is, at once, a celebration of physical and mental toughness, a serious reflection on success and failure, a colorful account of Faber’s rise to greatness, and a fascinating look at life inside the cage.”

Sam Sheridan — A Fighter’s Heart: One Man’s Journey Through the World of Fighting

“An extraordinary combination of gonzo journalism and participatory sports writing, A Fighter’s Heart is a dizzying first-hand account of what it’s like to reach the peak of finely disciplined personal aggression, to hit—and be hit.”

Georges St-Pierre — The Way of the Fight

“A compelling memoir that offers an intimate, gritty look at a fighter’s journey, told through inspiring vignettes, GSP is a moving account of commitment and power, achievement and pain, dedication and conviction from one of the world’s greatest champions.”

John Kavanagh — Win or Learn: MMA, Conor McGregor and Me: A Trainer’s Journey

“Kavanagh’s portrait of McGregor is a revelation. What emerges is a remarkable portrait of ambition, discipline, and persistence in the face of years and years of disappointment… A must read for every MMA fan.”


Ronda Rousey — My Fight/Your Fight

“Packed with raw emotion, drama, and wisdom, this is an unforgettable book by one of the most remarkable women in the world.”

“Big” John McCarthy — Let’s Get It On!: The Making of MMA and Its Ultimate Referee

“In his own words, ‘Big’ John relates his insider’s perspective from the midst of many of the sport’s greatest moments—from Tito Ortiz–Ken Shamrock I at UFC 40 in 2002 to Randy Couture–Tim Sylvia at UFC 68 in March of 2007—along with his account of the birth of the sport in America, its evolution, and MMA’s ongoing struggles for acceptance.”

Chuck Liddell — Iceman: My Fighting Life

“Here, for the first time, is the story of Chuck Liddell inside and outside the Octagon—from his childhood in the poor section of Santa Barbara to the bloodiest battles of his career, to balancing life as a father, a UFC champ, and a superstar. With never-before-seen photos—and an all-new chapter added for this edition—Iceman is the true, no-holds-barred story of Chuck Liddell’s fight to become a champion.”

Bruce Buffer — It’s Time!: My 360-Degree View of the UFC

“I want to tell you about the passion that first led me to bet everything on this sport of ours, way back when MMA was outlawed in half the country and there wasn’t a dime to be made on it. I want to tell you how that passion all started.”

Clyde Gentry III — No Holds Barred: The Complete History of Mixed Martial Arts in America

“Called the bible for MMA, No Holds Barred is the definitive American history of MMA and its rapid rise in the sports and entertainment world… This is the most definitive, in-depth and thoroughly researched book on the history of the sport ever written and a must-have book for every mixed martial arts fan.”


Still stuck for ideas? How about these cute Funko POP figurines. Collect them all — Jose Aldo, Chris Weidman, Ronda Rousey, and Conor McGregor.

Check out more great MMA goodies year-round in my Amazon shop! ~Every Fighter Has A Story

By | 2018-03-26T11:45:03+00:00 December 19th, 2017|News|Comments Off on Last Minute Christmas Gift Ideas for #MMA Fans

UFC 217: BISPING vs ST-PIERRE — #GSP Returns to the Octagon

BISPING vs ST-PIERRE ufc poster

Las Vegas – Three world titles will be at stake and a legend returns when the Octagon®lands in New York City for UFC 217®: BISPING vs ST-PIERRE on Saturday, Nov. 4. Middleweight champion Michael Bisping looks to defend his crown for the second time against one of the greatest mixed martial artists in history, Georges St-Pierre who makes his comeback after four years away from the sport in the main event. In the co-main event, former training partners turned bitter rivals will settle the score when bantamweight champion Cody Garbrandt clashes with No. 2 TJ Dillashaw and strawweight powerhouse Joanna Jedrzejczyk chases Ronda Rousey’s record for most successful title defenses in the women’s divisions when she meets No. 3 Rose Namajunas .

By | 2018-03-26T11:45:09+00:00 September 22nd, 2017|News|Comments Off on UFC 217: BISPING vs ST-PIERRE — #GSP Returns to the Octagon

Media Call: UFC’s Holm vs Shevchenko & UFC 201 Lawler vs. Woodley

Two major UFC events still remain in July starting with UFC Fight Night: Holm vs. Shevchenko on Saturday, July 23 and UFC 201: Lawler vs. Woodley one week later on Saturday, July 30.

Holly (The Preachers Daughter“) Holm, is the No. 2 UFC bantamweight contender. She is a professional boxer and kickboxer and is the first person to win championships in both boxing and martial arts. She is highly regarded as one of the best female fighters in the world. The 5’8″ southpaw quickly rose to fame after capturing the division’s title from Ronda Rousey in 2015, however Holm lost the belt to Miesha Tate in  her first ever career loss.

Russian born Valentina Shevchenko, nicknamed, “The Bullet”, began training at the age of five. Shevchenko is a decorated Muay Thai Fighter and kickboxer.   A fierce competitor she has won many titles such as the International Federation of Muaythai Amateur World Championships and World Muaythai Council  and is known for her precision, calculated striking and clinch work. Shevchenko most recently fought Amanda Nunes on March 5, 2016 at UFC 196 but lost the fight by unanimous decision. No stranger to competition  Shevchenko has a 56-2 professional record  Muay Thai/K-1  and has defeated Joanna Jędrzejczyk and Caley Reece. Look for this fight to be a chance to see some spectacular stand-up by both  of the ladies.

San Diego native, Robbie Lawler is a professional mixed martial artist and the current  UFC Welterweight Champion. He has been competing since 2001. He is best known for his 2015 title defense against Rory MacDonald, a match some refer to as one of the greatest world title fights of all time. He is a fan favorite and is know to leave it all in the Octagon. This fight marks his third title defense.

Tyron Woodley, nicknamed “The Chosen One”, fought in his first professional Strikeforce fight in 2009 and is currently #3 in official UFC welterweight rankings.  Woodley has a strong wrestling background and is a  NCAA Division I All-American as well as team captain of the University of Missouri wrestling team He also won the Big 10 title in 2003. Woodley hasn’t fought since UFC 183 in January 2015 so ring rust could be an issue. The two fighters both fight out of the American Top Team banner and are friends but will put their friendship aside to see who is the best welterweight is. Look for Lawler to use his experience and grit to grind out the win.

The four fighters had this to say on the UFC media conference call when they were asked about their upcoming fights.

Holly Holm: ” Valentina is definitely a seasoned athlete.” I do know it is just one fight at a time. I’m definitely thirsty right now, I want victory”

Valentina Shevchenko: “My focus is the fight.” and “This is my life, this is what I want to be. My destiny was to be a martial artist.”

Robbie Lawler: “I’m sick of the Fight of the Night. “I am a mean fighter. I just want to take people out and I just want to win!”

Tyron Woodley: “The difference between me then, and me now is that I’m putting everything together and I’m ready to take off! I’m just a mean fighter who is looking to finish people and do what I do.”

You can catch UFC FIGHT NIGHT  Saturday July 23rd, 2016 Holm VS Shevschenko at 8PM/5PM ET/PT as well as a host of other great fight.

Watch Lawler vs. Woodley on July 30th LIVE on Pay Per View HERE

By | 2016-07-18T20:51:31+00:00 July 18th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Media Call: UFC’s Holm vs Shevchenko & UFC 201 Lawler vs. Woodley

Smack Talk Continues between TUF 23 – Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha

UFC Tuf 23 Coachesfierce rivals Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha will finally get the chance to settle the score this week in another one of the “must see fights”, that are a part of the UFC’s Fight Week.

The 27-year-old Gadelha (13 -1) is a BJJ black belt expert, training with the likes of Jose Also and Renan Baraao. She has six wins by submission – five armbars and one rear naked choke, which by the way if you did not know is her favorite grappling technique and two by knockout. The only mark on her otherwise stellar record is a controversial split decision loss to Joanna Jedrzejczyk, the current strawweight champion in December 2014.

Joanna Jedrzejczyk (11-0) on the other hand at just 28 years of age, has 1 Performance of the night and 1 Fight of the Night honors. She is a skilled and lethal fighter with a strong background in Muay Thai and Boxing, where she is know to use her vicious elbows. She holds a slew of titles as a pro: WKN World Champion, J Girls Champion, WBKF Champion, WKF European Champion and the WMC Champion.

Look for this fight to be as vicious and venomous as it was when the two ladies were on last week’s media conference call.

Claudia Gadelha: I’m very motivated, not only because I’m fighting for the title, but because I’m fighting her. It’s something that I want. I wanted to do it, I wanted to have that opportunity to fight her again because I watched that first fight, too many times and I don’t see how the judges gave the fight to her.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk: Yes, I was the underdog in that first fight. Now, I’m centered, I’ve become a defensive fighter, defense person, and I’ve got much more experience than Claudia Gadelha. I had three fights; I fought eleven rounds. Claudia Gadelha had just one fight against Ayaka Hamasaki, and she fought three rounds, so I’ve got more experience and I feel ready to go.

Claudia Gadelha:. I grew up in the BJJ philosophy, you know, I grew up with other martial arts kids, and I learned how to respect my opponents, and their coaches and everybody around me. So I have that problem with her because I don’t think she grew up in that philosophy, you know, and it kind of bothered me.

Joanna Jędrzejczyk : You can see, you could see that I didn’t have any problems with the other opponents, you know. Even my stare-downs are from fighters, so, but I shake their hands with my opponents before the fight and after the fight. I’m having the problem just with Claudia, so that’s why this fight is going to be really big.

You can watch 10 pm/ 7pm ET/PT on Friday July 8, 2016 on FX1.

By | 2018-04-29T15:38:20+00:00 July 7th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Smack Talk Continues between TUF 23 – Jedrzejczyk and Gadelha

Fireworks amid UFC Fighters & TUF 23 Coaches Gadelha & Joanna Jedrzejczyk!

No love lost as fierce rivals and Tuf 23 coaches Joanna Jedrzejczyk and Claudia Gadelha trade verbal punches on Ultimate Fighter media conference call today!

Ultimate Fighter Finale Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia Friday, July 8, 2016

Gadelha who says she “respects Joanna as a fighter but not as a person” reiterated her intent to crush Jedrzejczyk at The Ulitmate Fighter Finale 

Joanna who says she indeed “does respect Claudia,” told the press despite the intense exchanges between the two fighters she has “no emotions and is calm and ready” going into the fight and has “more motivation to win than her opponent. “ She also revealed she would like to move to 125, so she can hold the belt in two weight classes and has previously fought at this weight before.

Also,on today’s media conference call the always classy Miesha Tate talked about how she thrives under pressure and was only focused on her upcoming fight with Amanda Nunes and that Ronda Rousey was not really on her mind at all at this time.

Nunes for her part did not seem fazed at all by fighting the more experienced Tate and said she had worked on her cardio and was ready to go 5 rounds.

Watch The Ultimate Fighter Finale Friday, July 8 on Fox Sports 1  Ultimate Fighter Finale Team Joanna vs. Team Claudia Friday, @1oPM/ 7PM ET/PT

You can catch Tate and Nunes Saturday, July 9th on PPV as well as a host of other great fights at UFC 200 Cormier vs. Jones 2 @ 10PM/7PM ET/PT

By | 2018-04-21T10:10:03+00:00 June 29th, 2016|News|Comments Off on Fireworks amid UFC Fighters & TUF 23 Coaches Gadelha & Joanna Jedrzejczyk!

Tonya Evinger On Her Upcoming Invicta FC 10 Fight with Cindy Dandois

The always dynamic and candid Tonya Evinger discusses how she is preparing for her upcoming fight with Cindy Dandois at Invicta FC 10 December 5th going down in Houston, Texas at Invicta FC 10.

Evinger says she is ready for this fight and is looking for an exciting finish against Dandois. She also talks about how she never takes any fight for granted and why she is always ready to fight anyone that’s up for the challenge.

She also responds to India Gomes calling her out, find out is she will give India a rematch and what she thinks about India as a fighter and a person.

Tonya also looks back at her loss against Gina Carano and tell us why she feels she would be victorious this time if she got a chance to fight her again.

Tonya has two twin younger brothers who practice MMA, what advice does she give them and do they listen to their older sister?

What is Tonya’s secret talent?.

Find out who she feels has been her toughest opponent so far in career and what has been her biggest fight challenge in the sport so far?

Also Tonya answers your fan questions.

You can follow Tonya Evinger @TonyaEvinger

And don’t forget to watch the fight this weekend December 5th on UFC Fight Pass.

You can follow Susan Cingari @SusanCingari
Also check out for more MMA stories.


Also here is the transcript of her interview:


SUSAN CINGARI: Susan Cingari here with Tonya Evinger who is facing Cindy Dandois on December 5th at the Area Theater in Houston, Texas at Invicta FC 10. According to the Unified Women’s MMA rankings, Tonya is the number 10 ranked 135 pound female MMA fighter. Congratulations on that ranking, Tonya. Thanks for joining me today. How are you

TONYA EVINGER:  I’m good. I’m good. Just got done training, so I’m a little tired. Getting through my training camp, and ready for this fight.

SUSAN CINGARI:  You’re less than a week away from training camp, so are you ready to fight them?

TONYA EVINGER: You know, I’ve been ready to fight since my last fight. I think that training camp was long enough to last the whole year (laughs). It’s the first time I actually had an 8 week training camp, so that’s a little long for me. I’ve been an athlete for so long, I like to have short, intense training camps, otherwise I get a little burnt out. I’m ready to go. I’ve been ready to go.

SUSAN CINGARI: Good for you. You have a four inch reach advantage over Cindy. Will you look to keep the fight standing then

TONYA EVINGER:  You know what? I think that I win this fight no matter where we go. I think I’m a lot better than what I’m ranked. It doesn’t matter who I fight, I always get them comments from the same people. “If you beat this girl, I’ll consider you top 10.” Well, that’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. I don’t understand why I have to keep proving myself, when I’m the one that’s been here doing this for 10 years. I just think that it doesn’t even matter. I’m always going to be the underdog in every single fight. I just come out and as long as I’m in shape, I just fight. I think I win.

SUSAN CINGARI: What can fans expect to see when they tune into the fight?

TONYA EVINGER: For this one, I’ve been looking for a lot of exciting finishes. My first fight for Invicta, I fought Sarah D’ Alelio. I went out there. I’m always scared to death when I fight. I always am freaked out. I don’t know if I’m good enough, but I just have to take faith in what I’ve done and the fact that I am good at what I do. I just go out there and I try to win. Starting with that first fight, I told myself I wanted to get back to what I used to do. I used to knock people out. I used to go in there and fight hard and exciting. I wanted to be that fighter. I went out there, then I lost two fights and I’ve just been trying to knock people out and  do some damage. I think they’re going to see the exact same, and we’ll see how durable she is.

SUSAN CINGARI: I find that hard to believe, that you doubt yourself, when you’ve been on such a winning streak. Why do you do that? You’re good.

TONYA EVINGER: I think it’s every athlete. I think that if you don’t question yourself and that you’ve done enough, and if you’re not scared to get in that cage, I’m think there’s probably something wrong with you. I think that you read it in everybody’s book and everybody’s interviews that they say it, even the top fighters. GSP even said it. He’s scared to death before he gets in a fight. The closer he gets to the ring, the more confidence he gets. I’m that same type of fighter.

You see me run down the catwalk most the time, and that’s usually when my nerves are the most out of control. I focus so much on not being nervous just to keep my composure and to keep my nerves down, and keep my energy.I don’t want to overreact and waste my energy being worried.

I try to concentrate on not getting worried. I just go in there and fight, and I’m ready to go. I run down that catwalk, and I want to get in there. I want the dang bell to ring. I want to start it off, ’cause that’s when your nerves all go away. Soon as that bell rings, you start punching somebody (laughs).

SUSAN CINGARI: It’s interesting. It sounds to me like what you’re saying really then is you don’t really want to take any fight for granted. Is that what I’m interpreting?

TONYA EVINGER: Yeah, pretty much. Pretty much. I think anything can happen in this sport. I’ve seen a lot of people lose that I hate watching lose. I think that they’re great athletes and great fighters, and anything can happen in there. I can catch somebody and they can catch me. It just … It comes down to who’s having a better day and who’s on. They’re game plan works and they’re in there and they’re on their game. I plan on being there every single fight. As long as everything keeps going my way, I think we’ll see exciting fights out of me ’til I’m done fighting.

SUSAN CINGARI: Your opponent has not fought since 2011. Do you think that gives you a clear advantage?

TONYA EVINGER: No. I think that that doesn’t really matter. I don’t really think that that ring rust thing is really a deal breaker for a winnable fight. I just don’t see that happening. I think that when I go into train, whether I’ve not trained in two years, or whether I trained last week, I go in there and I train for a fight. I go into practice and I spar hard. We do MMA and we hit each other. I fight every single day of practice. To come into a fight and have ring rust, I think that is just considerably wrong training. I think that you

trained wrong for you not to be ready. If you’re training right for a fight, you should’ve fought many times in the gym for your training camp to get to that point. I just think that mental game is big part of it. I think that people don’t come in with the confidence and their head right to win a fight. I think that’s where that ring rust so called comes into play.

SUSAN CINGARI: Yeah. That’s an interesting perspective. India Gomez recently took to social media and wrote this, and I quote her,

“You just got lucky Tonya. Next time you won’t. I promise next time it will be different. Mark my words. Good luck at your next fight. We will be facing each other soon. I want my rematch. I know you’re not a coward, that’s why you are going to give me a rematch.”

Well are you going to give her a rematch?

TONYA EVINGER :( laughs) you know what; she also said that she let me hit her in the face. I’ve never had a fighter ever in my life let me hit them in the face. I think that’s the complete opposite. You don’t want to get hit in the face. I try not to get hit. I think that’s the most ridiculous statement that she’s made.

And the more she got into all the stuff that she was writing, calling me out and stuff, the more ridiculous she sounded. I just think that that’s her trying to talk her way into a title fight, or into some kind of getting back on track to the exposure she thought she was getting. Before that fight, her and her whole team, they posted all kinds of pictures, and how I’m nobody. I don’t know who I’m getting in the ring with, and this and that.

That goes back to me saying I think that people have underestimated me. Everybody was saying “You beat India Gomez and we’ll consider you top 10.” Who’s India Gomez? I’ve been doing this a long time before her. I’ve seen her fight with the dude on the internet. I think that’s a joke of a fight. I think that she has better fights when she fights females than that she fought versus that dude. I just think that that’s just ridiculous.

So, you know, I think she’s trying to talk her way into a fight. She’s definitely playing with the wrong person, because I am definitely great at a war of words. I can make fun of that girl all day long. Bring it on, but no, I think that like I have said since day one, welcome to 135. The talent is deeper and the girls are tough. 145 I just don’t see as a stacked weight class. To come into 135 and to think that you’re going to be top ranked and just kill everybody is just a really ignorant way of thinking. I think that our weight class is really stacked. You know, beat somebody. Beat somebody in 135. Earn your way back up, but as of right now, I mean, I didn’t get hit once in that fight. I dominated that fight.

It’d be different if I just caught her in an arm bar, but I was mounted, punching her, elbowing her, and she turned over because apparently she was letting me hit her in the face. So, she turned over, and gave me that submission. I don’t even go for submissions. I don’t practice submissions. I don’t go for submissions. I strictly try to beat people up. That showed how easy that fight was for me. I don’t know. I don’t think that me and her fighting is going to come very soon. I think that she’s wishful thinking right now.

SUSAN CINGARI: Speaking of rematches, you lost to Gina Carano in 2007 by a rear naked choke. If she returns to fight, would you like to fight her again? Do you feel you could be victorious this time, since you have improved so much as a fighter?

TONYA EVINGER: Hell yes. I think I should’ve been victorious last time. I think that that was one of them cases of ring rust (laughs). No, it wasn’t. I went in to that fight and I was mentally just not on my game. They didn’t have an area for me to warm up. It was kind of a joke. They jerked me around so many times before that fight I just was like, “Man, this is a fight that they’re trying to get me to lose.” I had to warm-up outside. It was the most ridiculous fight.

I remember taking her down and hitting her a couple times and thinking “This is too easy. This is way too easy.” Then all of a sudden my brain just clicked off and I just didn’t want to fight anymore. It had nothing to do with me getting caught in a choke, because if everybody looks at the video, I clearly, I heard them tap the 10 second clap on the table and shit. I knew that the fight was almost over, I just didn’t want to go into the second round. I just completely broke down. I don’t know what happened. I can’t explain it.

I think that until you’re in that situation, you don’t know, but you see it with a lot of fighters. You saw it this year on Ultimate Fighter, this season with Lisa Ellis. I just think that it’s just one of them things where you’re head just isn’t right and things are going completely different than I guess you imagined, or guess that everybody’s portrayed at this fight going this way. I think that it played a big part of me losing that fight. Will I ever get a rematch? Hell, no. I don’t think she’ll ever give me a rematch, but I would take it. I would take any rematch I’ve ever lost.

SUSAN CINGARI: You have two twin brothers that are also professional MMA fighters. What advice do you give them, and do they listen to their big sister?

TONYA EVINGER:  I don’t think they listen anymore. They used to. You know, I’d pop ’em in the face a couple times. No, they’re great guys. They grew up to be really good. They pretty much followed me in every sport. I don’t think they ever wanted to listen to me.

My one brother, he just fought. He lost which kind of sucks. I think that he’s an amazing athlete. He has more heart than anybody I know in any sport. It’s amazing to watch him, but he’s a robot, and if he doesn’t get the right training, he doesn’t win. I feel like, I trained him for a while, and I would come out there and do camps and stuff with him. I feel like that’s the best I’ve ever seen him fight.

The older he gets, the more he kind of argues back because he also is a coach and coaches his kids in wrestling, and does a lot of stuff. He also knows the game and how it goes. I think it comes down to him just getting older and more educated. He’s like “No, I’m going to do it this a way.” And I’m like, “No, you’re going to do it my way.” they’ve learned. My brother was my wrestling partner all growing up through high school and junior high wrestling. They’ve learned a lot from me, and they’ve moved on to be bigger stronger athletes, of course. I don’t know. It worked out, it worked out.

SUSAN CINGARI: Tell me one thing no one knows about you.

TONYA EVINGER: Oh, one thing. I don’t know. I’m a puzzle freak. I build puzzles like crazy. I pretty much do anything that’s hands on. I like building stuff. I like just doing anything that’s hands on. I can pretty much put anything together or make anything work. Maybe that’s why I’m good at this sport.

SUSAN CINGARI: That’s a secret talent.


SUSAN CINGARI: Yeah. That’s a good secret talent. I like that. Now we have some questions from some MMA fans on Twitter. Tonya, you’ll be glad to hear that you were very popular. You have a lot of fans out there, and some great questions.

Our first question is from Jeff Delosantos @jeffdmma. He wants to know, who has been your toughest opponent so far in your career?

TONYA EVINGER: Oh. Gosh, I can’t even say. I think that everybody I’ve fought, I think that I should’ve beat. I think that the only reason I’ve lost is because I’ve made stupid mistakes. I just got too wild, or I came in out of shape, clearly, or my head just wasn’t right. I think that that’s what you see throughout my whole career, is if I’m in the right frame of mind and the going the right directions, I win fights.

I would have to say my toughest fight so far, probably be Alexis Davis, the first time we fought, although I feel like I was kicking her ass up until the time I got choked out. I took that on a four day notice. I hadn’t trained or fought in like two years. They called me and said “It’s a main event. You want to take it?” I said, “What are you paying?” And they said, “This, and you’ll get a rematch if you … We’ll give you a couple more fights and you’ll get a rematch. We realize it’s short notice.”

So, I took it. I went out there and I thought “I’m going to try to finish her as fast as possible.” I had full mount multiple times. I had her back. I was dominating that fight. I don’t feel like she was as tough as me, I feel like it was the right time for her. Definitely the fight went her way. Being the toughest fight because it was the toughest challenge for myself. I was so out of shape. I remember feeling so bad, I was throwing up for like an hour after that fight. My adrenaline and just everything, it just made me sick. I just …


TONYA EVINGER: It was horrible, horrible experience. The most pain I’ve ever had, and just after the fight. I don’t know if anybody’s ever been tired, but in this sport it really sucks to be tired. That tired, and then have somebody beating on you. It’s definitely a different experience. That would probably be my toughest fight. It was all my fault, actually.

SUSAN CINGARI: Jackson Herrod wants to know what has been your biggest challenge in the sport so far?

TONYA EVINGER: Just getting fights. Being able to maintain my activeness. Getting on fights that I think that I should be on the cards and stuff. Strikeforce is a big example of that. I fought for EliteXC, and then when they went under Strikeforce had my contract and they never fought me once. I think you’re seeing the same thing with UFC, by them not putting me on cards, which is fine because I love Invicta and I love fighting for Invicta. They treat me great. They’re great promotion. They let me fight. They keep me active.

I think that’s a main thing that’s happened in this sport, is it became popular and everybody and their mom wanted to fight. The next thing you know, just being able to stay licensed and the fees, and training, and all this stuff weeded a lot of people out of the sport. The fights, people stopped coming. The promoters don’t want to promote their own show. They want these kids to sell tickets and stuff, and do the work for them. I just think that that’s what everybody’s lacking in the sport. You can’t keep these promotions going and the fights just aren’t there. Now that females, of course, are getting some more option now that they’re in the UFC, I think that the females are starting to come back. It’s definitely been hard to keep active.

SUSAN CINGARI: Yeah. I’m encouraged. So excited that Ultimate Fighter is all female this year, because I’ve been waiting for that, for the females to get the respect in the sport. It’s been slow coming, but at least it’s a lot better than what it was. For sure.

TONYA EVINGER: Definitely. Definitely. Now we just got to worry about the paydays being the same, which I don’t ever see that happening, but man, it would be nice.

SUSAN CINGARI: Right. Cord Crowthers @elitecourt wants to know, he has a comment. I do. How is she so fricken awesome?

TONYA EVINGER: I don’t know. I was born that way. I was born like this. No, I think I get a different reaction. Some people love my personality and they accept it. Some people, man they just hate on me like crazy. They don’t know me. They believe rumors. They believe this person, that person. They just don’t know me.

I’m definitely a comedian. Most of the stuff I say is definitely dry humor, and just mess with people just to make people laugh. You know, the people that definitely get me and get my personality have met me in person. They definitely change their views of me, and get to me. I’m definitely just a good time. I don’t know. I like to have fun. I like to laugh, otherwise I wouldn’t be doing any of this. I got to stay out of the boring, boring world, so I got to do … Make myself laugh all the time, I guess (laughs). I’m a little crazy.

SUSAN CINGARI: Great to hear.

TONYA EVINGER: Little out there.

SUSAN CINGARI: Sascha Kretzschmar @official sashak wants to know, what do you think of Chris Cyborg?

TONYA EVINGER: I don’t know. I think that she’s probably been waiting to kick my butt for a long time from that interview I did a long time ago, me and Gina. I don’t know. I think that the fight between me and her definitely people push it like crazy. I don’t think that people are on the same level as the way things are going, and seeing the reality of what’s going on.

I think that she’s looking for that fight with Rhonda, and I think that she just wants to whoop Rhonda. She doesn’t care about Invicta, doesn’t care about who she fights. She just wants to get in there and fight people, the top people.

 I’m just that person that will fight anybody. I say it, and I can’t go back on it after I say it. I’d feel like such a turd if I said “I’ll fight anybody” and then they’re like “You want to fight this girl?” “Uh, no.” I mean I would’ve done that my last fight, ’cause India’s definitely a scary looking girl. I just will fight anybody. I feel like I do … When I don’t have a fight lined up, I have full confidence in my skills and my ability. I just got to remember that, ’cause as soon as I get a fight, I’m like “Oh, no. Oh shoot.” But everybody goes through that.

I just don’t want to be that fighter that says I’m a fighter and I’m not really a fighter, so I’m going to get in there and I’m going to fight everybody. I’m going to do the best I can, and I’m going to try to win every single fight. It’s a different mentality for me. She’s definitely “If you’re in my weight class and you want to fight, I guess I want to fight you too.” I’ll fight her. I definitely would fight her. I’ll fight anybody.

SUSAN CINGARI: Spoken like a true warrior, for sure.


SUSAN CINGARI:  Now we have some questions from Joolz @JoolzHoolz. She has several questions for you. What does your boss think of fighting? Supporting or annoyed? Remember Amanda Bell’s dick of a boss fired her recently.

TONYA EVINGER: I guess my boss is pretty supportive. He doesn’t care what I do as long as I come work every once in a while. It’s pretty crazy. That’s the reason I’ve been in construction my whole life, is I’ve been able to take time off and leave and do whatever, then come back and work. It’s just one of them jobs where I don’t have to be so committed to a six days a week, five day a week job. I can come and go and work the hours I want.

I’m really good at what I do, so I get it done fast. He’s just happy that I come to work, I think. Although I haven’t been there all week. I’m trying to take some time off to focus on this fight and train, and cut some weight and just be ready. I’ve never had anything bad with any of my bosses. Everybody’s been pretty supportive every company I’ve worked for. I guess if they did have a problem, then I wouldn’t work for them. It’s all about support.

SUSAN CINGARI: Speaking of support, Joolz @JoolzHoolz also wants to know, do individual fans give you support? She truly believes that more fans should offer what they can, not just “like”.

TONYA EVINGER: Yeah. I’ve had some of my fans actually put money into my PayPal account to help my training camps.

SUSAN CINGARI: Wow, that’s great.

TONYA EVINGER: My girlfriend, she has a fan, great guy. He sends her tons and tons of books. All the big name fighters that come out with books. Man, she has so many books, she’s got to read. He sends her money all the time to help her with stuff. It’s crazy. I think that that’s awesome. Of course, would never ask anybody. I would never expect anything from anybody.

It’s great to just have sponsors that want to get their name out there, and put their logo on your gear, and help support you. This sport is definitely expensive. It has been since I’ve started wrestling. Wrestling is a really expensive sport. You’ve got to pay to play until you get big name and get out there and start making some money, it’s really costly.

That’s what blows my mind about amateur fighters. They can’t have sponsors. They don’t get paid. They have nothing to supplement their income. They have to pay for their training because they’re amateurs and gyms don’t let them train for free. They have to pay for their gear because sponsors … They’re just amateur fighters and they don’t want to give them any gear for free. It’s a really a catch 22 in this sport.

Thank god I’m a pro, and I started when I did. I built my name, so I’ve always had some support here and there to help me out, and some sponsors that stuck with me throughout my whole career, whether I was winning, whether I was losing, when I was just training. They’ve always come through for me and done great things. It’s a big part of making this work. You know, I don’t know. It’s weird. I definitely would never say no because everything helps, but I wouldn’t expect anything from anybody. I appreciate everything everybody’s ever done for me. I wouldn’t be where I’m at if it wasn’t for my fans and my friends, and sponsors and everybody who’s helped me out.

SUSAN CINGARI: Final question from Joolz @JoolzHoolz. Do you go on autopilot when you fight, or are you conscious of the moves you’re doing?

TONYA EVINGER: Oh, I think every fight’s different. I remember when I first started fighting. My first fight, I remember getting out there and just throwing down. I couldn’t even remember the fight afterwards. I still have fights like that where I just can’t even remember what happened in there. I don’t know what I did. I don’t even know. I think it’s just repetition in the gym. Just like I said, going in there and fighting. I don’t go into the gym and just train boxing and just train jujitsu and just train this. I go in there and train MMA. I think that by doing that every day, my body knows what to do. I know what to do, whether I think about it or not.

Although, I do get in situations where it’s a deja vu, and I think that’s just from going over certain situations over and over and over. That’s what the deja vu is, you recognize that position. You’ve been in that position before. You know what to do from there. That’s when you start to feel comfortable and things start to come together. Then you can start hearing your corner men telling you stuff to do. I definitely feel different every time. Sometimes I’m so into the fight and my nerves are going, I can’t hear a dang thing my corner’s saying. Then, sometimes, I can hear everything they say, and I just do it. They see stuff I don’t, and I feel stuff in there that they don’t see. It’s different every time.

SUSAN CINGARI: It’s also often hard to hear because the fans are cheering so loud. I often wonder how the fighters can hear anything at all from their corner.

TONYA EVINGER: Oh, I know. I’ve been in fights where I’ve lost my voice trying to coach my fighter. I’m like “Shut up people. They can’t hear a dang thing I’m saying.” It’s more when the females are fighting. It gets so loud when the females are fighting. It’s definitely hard. In some fights, they don’t want you to sit cage side. My girlfriend fought out in Vegas, and I had to sit back in the first row. That was like 20 feet from the cage. I can’t coach from the crowd. That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever done. It’s really hard. In situations like that, you better have trained right, because you can’t count on your corner men, that’s for sure.

SUSAN CINGARI: Right. UFC181@talkmma wants to know, you were in quite a slump. He’d like to know what changed in your life that turned you into this well-oiled machine.

TONYA EVINGER: I don’t agree with that comment. I think that I definitely never was in a slump or anything. I think that it comes down to what we talked about before, being able to stay active. I quit fighting at some point around 2007, 2008, around 2008, I think just for the fact … I quit fighting ’til 2010 when I fought Alexis Davis because I couldn’t find fights. I could not find fights anywhere. There was nobody that wanted to pay.

I felt like I had put so much time and I had so many fights that why would I go back and pay? That’s like taking a job, earning my way up to an engineer position, and then going back and working for Walmart, or McDonald’s or something. It just doesn’t make sense to me. I was just frustrated. I was like “Screw it. I quit. I’m just not even going to focus on it anymore.” I focused on work. Then, an opportunity came with that fight with Alexis, and I took it. I take every opportunity that comes, unless it’s completely outrageous. Then, I, of course say no.

It just comes down to inactivity, and being able to keep these athletes active. I see it from both sides. I’ve been on a side where I’ve thrown shows and I’ve match made shows. I like to put people on cards, and I’ve had so many fighters contact me and they just beg to get on the card. I wish I could put them all on the card. I really do. I wish I could pay everybody better. I wish I could do a lot more. I wish I could I owned a gym for a while, and I didn’t make any of my fighters pay. Especially my amateurs, because I know how it is. They’re struggling. I know, I’ve been there on that side of it. It’s a struggle on both ends. If you got a good promoter, they do the best for you and the best they can. Athletes are doing their job too. It just comes down to being inactive and that’s it.

My record definitely shows that I’ve never really gotten in a slump where I’ve lost multiple fights in a row. I think the most I’ve ever lost is like two in a row. Then I got right back on track. But I am that fighter that takes short notice fights. It’s always usually been my fault.

SUSAN CINGARI: Well, I think it makes it more exciting for the fans to know that you’re ready to fight, and you’re ready to step up to the plate. I think that people have a respect for fighters that do that.


SUSAN CINGARI: Anything else you’d like to add today?

TONYA EVINGER: No. I’m just excited to get back in there. I’m excited to see Invicta get out of Kansas City. Don’t get me wrong, I like Kansas City, ’cause that’s where I’m from, but there’s so many places. So many people that are fans of Women’s MMA. To bring this event around is just awesome. I mean, if we could just get more people to buy tickets and more people to promote it, and more people to get online and push it, I think that’s the main thing that’s going on. The more ticket sales we see out here in Houston, hopefully we can come back again and bring in some local talent with some out of town talent, stuff like that.

Man, I just can’t give any more thanks to Shannon for stepping up and keeping this promotion alive. I know she went through a lot of stuff when they had their trouble and switched owners and all that stuff happened with them. The fact that they’re still running and doing so good, and surviving is just an amazing accomplishment. To see the talent, look at half the girls. They’re all going on to UFC, and they’re getting televised. They’re getting good coverage. I don’t know if you saw the last Invicta, but it was a bloody mess. A bloody mess.


TONYA EVINGER: It was great though.

TONYA EVINGER:  Oh my gosh, so much heart. I’ve seen so many girl fights where somebody throws a little paw at somebody. They’re pawing at each other, and the girl turns and doesn’t want to fight anymore. So, to see, and I think that’s where we don’t get the respect that we deserve. That promotion has straight talent. Has girls with heart, has fighters that are in there to fight. It’s just amazing, amazing to watch.

All these girls are new, so I’m kind of jealous. I had to take 10 years to learn all this shit, and these girls get to come in and have MMA fighter’s coaches, not just a wrestling coach, or a boxing coach, or this guy that thinks he can teach you how to fight. It’s awesome. They’re getting fast-tracked to the sport, and becoming amazing athletes and talent. Talent out the window man, it’s just crazy.

TONYA EVINGER: All right. I definitely want to give a shout out to my manager, which is Jay from Fresh Start. Pearl Bar, Summerton Renovation, Made, Cintabag, Lucky’s Automotive, Unique Kennels, Dudley Robinson from MMA Events Sponsors, MMA Signatures, West Side Chevrolet out here, which is awesome, I got a fricken local sponsor. That’s amazing. Pro Dealer did my  shirts this time, which is awesome. Pro Teams, Iron Jaw did my mouth piece. Face it fight gear is awesome. They hooked me up with a shit ton of gear.. Elevate a new gym that I’m just going to. I don’t believe in that Cross fit stuff very often, but they got me in there and man, I’m hurting today. I can’t get out of bed now. They’re great. Thank god I got all these sponsors. Jay’s been amazing amazing manager, so I’m happy to be signed with him. He’s done nothing but great things since I’ve started working with him, so definitely big thanks to him.

SUSAN CINGARI: Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Tonya. I want to remind our viewers. You can follow Tonya on Twitter @tonyaevinger. I want to wish you good luck on your fight at Invicta FC10 on December 5th, from Houston, Texas.

By | 2014-12-01T19:57:55+00:00 December 1st, 2014|News|Comments Off on Tonya Evinger On Her Upcoming Invicta FC 10 Fight with Cindy Dandois